Weirdo Alert – I got up at 5:30am on Sunday morning to go on a “fun run”

And I loved it.

Sunday was the last run in the Run Auckland Series of six 10km runs, I have been participating in.  They have been held at various parks throughout the city about once a month.  While I have moaned and groaned before and during every event, I really have had a great feeling of achievement each time one is completed.

On Sunday morning it was dark and cold and wet, but I dragged my sorry arse out of bed.  (Mr Brett lying in bed with a cup of coffee telling me I was a champion kind of helped but didn’t by the way)

The run was at Millwater, a newish subdivision by Orewa.  The course was a really nice mixture of flat and undulating with interesting things to look at.  Amazing to think that only a few years ago it was all farmland.

Although it was a rather miserable morning, as you can tell from the happy looking people below.  I managed to do my best time yet and I really did enjoy myself.


As usual when I go on a run, my “monkey mind” likes to work overtime.  I am pretty sure this is because I am incapable of concentrating on one activity for more than 10 minutes, let alone an hour, so when I am running thoughts get pretty random

Here are a selection (no wonder I need to go to bed early)

  • 2 years ago I couldn’t run 1km let alone 10
  • How my idea of what a fun activity is has really changed.  Well not that much – gin drinking and chippie eating is still fun
  • How much I like pretending to be a Kenyan runner on someones shoulder waiting to overtake them with a powerful kick
  • How can that woman who is so much larger than me be so much faster – she is absolutely far more Kenyan than I am
  • Will my Dragons still want me to support them when I must have put a hooddo on them so they have now lost 6 times in a row.  I even pulled out Kia Kaha in my inspirational tweet – nothing
  • Why haven’t I won Lotto yet when there are so many cool things I would do with that money?
  • Do I really look like a condom wearing my running hat?
  • Is Mr Brett out of bed yet?
  • Where is the finish line?

I managed to do 5 of the 6 runs and I am very pleased and proud of myself because I ended up about halfway overall in the field for my grouping – 40-49 year olds . Not bad for a former non runner.

So a very big thank you from me. Run Auckland people for organising such a great series.  It has managed to keep me motivated enough to keep running/shuffling through winter and I am really grateful for that.  Otherwise the gin and chippie fun activity would really taken over.  I will definitely be participating next year.

All a bit sad on the Footy front, both my teams lost – boo.  (sad boo not angry boo – call me old fashioned but I really hate hearing booing at games, it just seems so boorish and unnecessary)

Both teams did play a lot better in the second half – so we are taking heart and feeling positiveish for next week.  And they were both tough games, the Dragons were playing the Bunnies – last years champions, and the Warriors took on the Chooks, who are always competitive.

This weekend, I am super excited because Mr Brett and I are heading down to Hawkes Bay to watch the Dragons take on the Melbourne Storm.  I really hope the guys go well, and there isn’t a stalker alert placed out on me at McLean Park #awkward.

Whatever the result I do know the guys will give their all and do their very best to win.  I also know that I will get to eat some great food, drink some nice drinks and tormenting Mr Brett in another part of the country is always an enjoyable bonus.

Just before I close I do have to mention Anika Moa (again) and her fantastic album Songs for Bubbas.  If you are ever looking for a present for parents of little ones, this is highly recommended.  There is a lovely mixture of funny and sweet songs, lots of Te Reo and of course she sounds amazing.  I bought one for Isla, and I have it on good authority that she approves.

Ma te wa – that was especially for you Brenda



Living La Vida Local

This week’s blog is a shout out to the suburb I live in – Pt Chevalier Auckland, and all the great things I can do locally.  I live here more by good luck than good management but I feel very blessed that I do.

    • We have some wonderful parks including Coyle Park which has a wonderful view over the Waitemata Harbour towards the Shore and the Bridge

      Coyle Park view on an Autumn morning
      Coyle Park view on an Autumn morning
    • I feel absolutely safe taking Bad Billie for a walk at 5:15 in the morning
    • Although this always feels to me like a safe area, our wonderful bakery Take 5 run by Hannah who is only 20 (and makes the bestest sweet treats) is taking no chances

      Public Service Announcement at Take 5
      Public Service Announcement at Take 5
    • Being on a point we are always only a few minutes walk from the beach

      End of St Michaels Ave
      End of St Michaels Ave
    • We are really handy to good reliable public transport, and they are building big tunnely, bridgy motorway stuff right at the end of our street.  And our street will also connect up with the wonderful cycle way
Connecting to the cycle way
Motorway stuff
Tunnely Bridgy Motorway Stuff

We also have within walking distance a supermarket, great coffee, a couple of bars, an upholsterer,  a great library, two service stations and all manner of little retailers having a go and making a living.  I am actually not sharing this to make you jealous, but because I think that what we experience should be available for everyone in New Zealand.  Ok not living by the beach or having heavy construction equipment at the end of the road.  But living in a community where you feel safe and connected, where you access amenities easily and in a timely manner and you don’t have to earn a gazillion dollars to be able to do so.  And I don’t think it shouldn’t be a privilege for a lucky few.

Because of this I am incredibly supportive on any initiatives around improving public transport and thoughtful city planning, and extremely dubious about just building more subdivisions further and further out of the city.  With no thought given to how they connect and the quality of life people will experience living out there.  So if that means that there need to be more levies for public transport and more intensive housing closer to the city, than so be it.  If planning is done thoughtfully and properly – not always an occurrence in Auckland local politics, (and as long as Nick Smith doesn’t ride rough shod over the Council) maybe more people could live in a happy and safe community like I do.

I also need to do a shout out to the Neighbourly website.  I have used this a couple of times to request local services and both times I have had great service and found people really quickly.  Recommended

Anyway enough of the public service announcements, the Warriors had a win.  Hooray.  It was in the last minute, but great stuff guys.  Onwards and Upwards.

And mention has to be made of the great win the Kiwis had over the Kangaroos.  An awesome effort.  You really did us proud.

My Dragons play the Bunnies tonight.  Another tough game, and they will both be really wanting the win.  Will just cross my fingers and toeses like I always do and hope the Bunnies get skinned.  (Lordy, the more time I spend on the League Fan sites and Facebook pages the more crazy analogies ensue).

I also had another Run Auckland 10km run on Sunday, out at Barry Curtis Park in Botany  It was a stunning day for it, and I was really pleased with my time.  Although I did start out a bit quick, so there were a few profanities used by the end.  This is the third I have done now, and each time I get a bit quicker.  Might be time for me to stop 🙂

At the start line. Just before my Mother rang requesting bacon. Of course I took the call – it was my Mum!
A 5km runner near the start of the course
Looking out over the course

And finally things that make you go hmmm.  Just as I wrote this tonight, and mentioned that I thought Auckland could be awesome if Nick Smith didn’t ride rough shod over the Council’s plans.  This came to light


Running and Driving and Resting and I have a Cunning Plan

I ran another of my 10km RunAuckland series runs today.  It was completely different weather wise to my first run.  In short it was a cracker of a day.  We got to run around the park at Te Atatu North and it was lovely, and I did it in under an hour – just.  Success.

View across to the city before my run

There were a couple of things I learned this time around.

  • I run better if it isn’t pouring with rain and I don’t have lakes to navigate -who knew?
  • I need to do this series next year because then I will be in the 50-59 age group and my results will look way better.  So that is great motivation for me to keep running for at least another year – yes my deviousness knows no bounds
  • A nice sunny day means lots more runners so you have to be extra careful not to get in anyone’s way – not always my strongest suit
  • It is impossible to look good in those photos they take of you running, unless sweaty mess is your thing and in that scenario I am awesome

Following my run Billie and I drove up to the Lodge for a spot of cleaning and checking in.  We have got some people booked in for this week, so we needed to make sure it was spic and span and also to check out our gum tree. The prevailing wind at Tapora is a westerly, but occasionally an easterly comes through and when it does look out.  It can cause some damage.  Earlier this week one blew in and managed to knock out our silver dollar gum.   Sad Silver Dollar GumIt is less than half the size it was, and I am not even going to mention the damage that Brett’s Cock (weather vane) sustained.  (because I promised him when I started blogging there would be some no go areas) There was some good news however, the feijoas had well and truly been shaken down, so it was very easy to collect some to bring home for a feijoa crumble tonight, which was fabulous even if I do say so myself. Actually I am seriously considering making feijoa wine.  I think I might try and lure Mr Hamish Mack, poet, wine maker and wonderful human being up to the Lodge next year and leave him without any means of getting home until some sweet sweet feijoa wine is produced. Some people might call this slavery, I prefer to think of it as a) a cunning plan b) demonstrating the real spirit of John Key’s NZ “empowering” others to work very hard for the benefit of a few. Anyway Hamish, what are you and the Mack family up to next Easter?   I know of a lovely place for you to stay.

Hamish, I would pick them.  You would just have to make something drinkable and alcoholic out of them

It takes 90 minutes to get to and from the Lodge so that was quite a bit of driving.  Brett was facilitating a workshop today, so I had to do cleaning all on my own.  Which can happen but isn’t recommended (by me anyway) So by the time we got home both Billie and I were a bit weary.  Billie is in fact making a contribution to this blog by giving a demonstration of just how weary we both felt (feel)

Billie is exhausted
Billie is exhausted

Actually what amazes me with this particular pose is that she was like this for about 5 minutes.  Surely not that comfortable.  But she seemed to like it. So another week has raced by, Sunday night always seems to arrive far too quickly.  But my Dragons had another win.  Well done Dragons.  Loving your work.  They seem to have plenty of happy fans at the moment, some of these are the same people who were so scathing about them just a few weeks before.  Meanwhile the Warriors had a loss, but they are going to do just fine this season.  After all being a fan means being there for the ups and the downs.  And both the Warriors and the Dragons like keeping their fans on their toes and testing their cardiac fitness.

Fitness Weirdo – but a happy one

This Sunday I ran my first 10km fun run.  I am pretty darn proud of myself too because I ran all the way.  The course was a 2.5km loop around Waiatarua Park in Remuera.  The course was quite good but it poured with rain about half an hour before we started and for most of the hour and 2 minutes and 13 seconds that I ran for.  Which meant it was wet.  And there was a spot where I swear wasn’t a puddle it was a mini lake.  The water came up well over my ankles.  Knowing the first time you ran through it, that you would be coming up against it 3 more times was not the most inspiring sensation I must admit.

Before the race - boo
Before the race – boo

The run is part of a series of 6 races organised by Run Auckland.

I have to say despite the weather being more designed for ducks than runners, it was really well organised, and once you got your head around the fact you were going to get bloody wet a lot of fun.  I was a bit disappointed I didn’t finish in under an hour – which was my goal.  But there is next month’s run.  And I will tie my laces better next time.  I did have to stop for that – that must have slowed me up by 20 seconds at least 🙂

By the time we finished a little bit of blue sky
By the time we finished a little bit of blue sky

Of course the funny thing is me even being disappointed at not achieving my goal of 10km in under an hour, is that 2 years ago this would not have been remotely possible.  But since making the decision to stop being a couch potato and doing the Michelle Bridges 12WBT program.  (which I joined thanks to Sister Julie and I can not sing the praises of highly enough)  I can now go out on a wet Sunday run for over an hour and think that is a good time.  Weirdo I know.

Billie recreating what I felt like doing straight after my run
Billie recreating what I felt like doing straight after my run

That’s me the healthy and happy weirdo who has biceps, and enjoys nothing more than showing off her headstand moves.  Of course the time I really want to show off my headstand is when I have had a couple of gins.  Unfortunately I have not found a way to keep my balance when the magical juniper juice has been consumed.  But I am a work in progress, and if it is at possible I will find a way.

I have discovered this amazing thing (and sorry if I sound like an evangelist) but regular exercise is really really important for my well being.  In fact it is my preventative medicine.  I am quite sure if I stopped exercising, my family and colleagues would push me out the door anyway, because it has made such a difference to my mental and physical health.  Exercising regularly, eating healthyish and drinking a bit less have all been really good for me.  Crazy times.

So my goal for 2015 is to keep it up, even when getting out of my nice warm bed at stupid o’clock to go to they gym seems like a really dumb idea.  Because the reality is, I have tried the alternative and that isn’t too clever either.

And I just have to say, because it has been a big week Shout Outs to …

  • The people of Northland, showing the National Party they can’t be taken for granted.  Winnie is a sly old silver fox but he is just brilliant for his nuisance value.  Lord knows what he will get up to now, but I am pretty confident it wont make John happy
  • The Warriors, I know you would have really wanted that win against the Broncos at Mt Smart, but you really came back in the second half, just wasn’t to be unfortunately
  • The Dragons, yay another win.  Hopefully you can build on that momentum for the Knights.
  • The Black Caps.  So very proud, the game against Australia wasn’t anywhere as close as we would have liked.  But you got into the final and displayed an awesome attitude the whole way through.  I think good sportsmanship is definitely something we should value and celebrate.  Yes I am talking about you, Australian cricket team, who gave an awesome demonstration of how you can be losers even if you win.
  • All the volunteers who help keep sporting clubs with future Black Caps, Warriors and Dragons going, and all those people who knock on doors to get people out to vote.  Giving up your time to do something for others for no material gain is pretty awesome.  (maybe not the Young Nats though – I think you just annoyed the hell out of the voters of Northland) Ok, it’s me, you annoy the hell out of me.